Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has lauded Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ace Lionel Messi for helping his national team lift the much-coveted 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy in Qatar last year.
Messi, 35, completed his trophy collection after guiding La Albiceleste to their third FIFA World Cup win in December. He scored seven goals and laid out three assists in seven matches in Qatar, becoming the first footballer to bag the Golden Ball award twice in the process.
During the regulation time of the tournament final against France, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner scored two goals. He also converted one penalty during the crucial shootout after the contest finished 3-3 after extra time.
During an interview with China Media Group, Fernandez was asked for his opinion on Argentina's 2022 FIFA World Cup win. He replied:
"We held many celebration events for the World Cup victory because we hadn't tasted victory for far too long, not since 1986, when [Diego] Maradona brought us this kind of joy. I think the key factor for winning the title was the head coach. He's young, so when he was appointed, few people trusted him. But I trusted him a lot."
Lauding Lionel Scaloni's squad and Messi, Fernandez continued:
"He found a collection of young talented players and also, Lionel Messi is a national treasure. He's a phenomenal player. Any team becomes more competitive with him in it. I was so happy to see him back on the national team, back to the football career that every Argentine is obsessed with. I watched all the players devote themselves to the team. They really brought immense joy to our people."
Carlos El Indio Solari blasts Lionel Messi's critics after world triumph with Argentina
Speaking to El Cohete a la Luna, famed musician Carlos El Indio Solari hit out at Lionel Messi's critics. Lauding his role as Argentina's captain during their recent 2022 FIFA World Cup triumph, he elaborated:
"The 'cold chest' ate the cup. I saw him play with an invincible soul, in front of whoever he was. He had to be the captain, not only in football terms, and he bankrolled it. And even so, it was dramatic."
Slamming the Argentina forward's detractors, El Indio Solari continued:
"On the channels that are on the air 24 hours a day, they end up saying nonsense that people buy, as if they were the gospel. And the day the woman gored them, they get up and grab him. It was a group of journalists, yes, using their tricks and breaking their balls."